Whether or not it has anything to do with lucky bats, Justin Bour is looking like a slugger the Miami Marlins can rely on alongside Giancarlo Stanton next season.
The first baseman will try to become the third rookie in more than 100 years to homer in four straight games twice in a season Tuesday night when the red-hot Marlins visit the Tampa Bay Rays.
Although it's too late to become a factor in the NL Rookie of the Year race, Bour has emerged as a force in the middle of Miami's lineup. The cleanup hitter went 7 for 12 with four home runs and eight RBIs in a three-game home sweep of Atlanta over the weekend.
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The 27-year-old now looks to match the franchise record he already tied June 30-July 3 by homering in four consecutive contests. Since 1914, Minnesota's Jimmie Hall (1963) and Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers (2015) are the only rookies to do it twice in a season.
Bour, hitting .375 with seven homers and 17 RBIs over his last 12 games, insists teammate David Phelps has had something to do with this potentially historic stretch.
"The last three days he's picked out a bat for me every day, and I've gone back for him three straight days now and I have home runs," said Bour, second to Stanton (27) on the team with 23 homers.
Bour, who had his first multi-homer game in Sunday's 9-5 victory, will try to help the Marlins to their sixth straight win in the opener of this final six-game road swing. Stanton is making the trip but has not decided whether to play after missing 81 games with a hand injury.
Miami, an MLB-best 17-8 since Aug. 31, hit .385 and totaled 27 runs during its sweep of the Braves.
The Marlins (69-87) could find things more difficult against Matt Moore (2-4, 6.48 ERA). After posting an 8.42 ERA in his first eight starts since returning from Tommy John surgery, the left-hander has a 1.32 mark while striking out 16 over his past two.
"I think for him to be able to go into the offseason knowing that he's back, that he feels really good, that will be a big boost going into the offseason and carrying it into next year," manager Kevin Cash told MLB's official website.
Moore is 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts against the Marlins, whom he last faced in 2012.
Tampa Bay dropped both home meetings to Miami last year before taking two of three at Marlins Park in April. The Rays are trying to avoid a fourth straight loss after getting swept at Toronto over the weekend.
Mikie Mahtook has been a bright spot for the Rays (75-81), going 2 for 3 with his sixth home run in Sunday's 5-4 defeat. The rookie outfielder has batted .379 over his 11 games at Tropicana Field.
Rookie left-hander Adam Conley (4-1, 3.93), who has never faced Tampa Bay, will try to improve on his 3-0 record and 2.96 ERA over his last five starts - all Miami victories.